November 29, 2022

Bellaire’s Response to Houston’s Boil Water Notice

The City of Bellaire first heard about Houston’s boil water notice at the same time everyone else did, when local media began reporting on it just before 8:00 p.m. Sunday.  We never received any notice directly from Houston, as one would have expected.  Turns out they attempted to notify us by e-mail around 7:00 p.m., but sent it to an outdated address (which we’ve since corrected).  At that late hour, however, and so close to when we got word anyway through the media, it really wouldn’t have made any difference in our response.

Under regional subsidence regulations we’re limited to drawing only half our water supply from our groundwater wells.  For the other half we purchase surface water from the City of Houston, as numerous other municipalities and water districts do.  Upon learning of Houston’s boil water notice, Bellaire Public Works immediately began isolating our water system by shutting off the flow of surface water from Houston and switching over exclusively to groundwater.

Out of an abundance of caution, we went ahead and issued our own boil water notice, too.  Since we had been taking water from Houston all day and couldn’t rule out the possibility some of it may have been affected, it was the right call.  Always better to err on the side of public health and safety.

That said, be assured we never had any reason to believe our water supply was actually contaminated.  At no time during the event did Bellaire’s system pressures drop below required levels, and testing performed Sunday and yesterday all came back within acceptable water quality parameters.  Yesterday evening after further investigation we determined our notice, which again had been issued as a precaution, could safely be lifted and we promptly did so.

City staff in Public Works and the City Manager’s Office did a great job in their handling of this situation.  Still, they recognize there may be some areas for improvement and will be reviewing the response for any learnings they can take from it.  Bellaire water customers may contact Public Works at (713) 662-8170 or by e-mail at with any questions.

November 28, 2022

Council Chewing on a Location for New Pound

The City Council’s long-awaited workshop last week on proposals for the replacement and relocation of the Bellaire Pound took an early turn, diving into the details of our current animal control operations and policy.  (Video of that first hour will be of interest to those wishing to have the latest information.)  That discussion set the stage and provided necessary context for the remainder of the workshop, and for the decision making still to follow.  All were in agreement we’ve made great progress over the past year in upping our game at the pound as it exists today, but it’s time to move forward with a new facility elsewhere.

We won’t be rebuilding at the current site, because it’s too deep into the floodplain for us to be able to replace the structure cost-effectively, and there are related operational challenges as well.  After careful consideration of potential alternatives both in and outside Bellaire, staff have narrowed it down to two options:  a City-owned parcel on N. First St. at the northern edge of town, or an industrial property that’s about five miles away.